Here's a great video showing the US Navy's VAQ (electronic attack) squadrons and their operations over the past year. Wikipedia notes:
The VAQ designation was established in 1968 to designate "Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron". On 30 March 1998 the name of the designation was changed to "Electronic Attack Squadron" and all VAQ squadrons then in existence were renamed from "Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-____" to "Electronic Attack Squadron-____".
Electronic Attack Squadrons consists of seven Boeing EA-18G Growlers with the exception of the Fleet Replacement Squadron which has more. The primary mission of the Growler is Electronic Attack (EA), also known as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) in support of strike aircraft and ground troops by interrupting enemy electronic activity and obtaining tactical electronic intelligence within the combat area. Navy Electronic Attack squadrons carry the letters VAQ (V-fixed wing, A-attack, Q-electronic).
The Growler is a great aircraft, but potential threats are already posing problems. If the enemy can launch missiles from far outside its range, and take out its launching carrier, the Growler will have no choice but to land elsewhere or ditch in the sea.
The US Navy is already thinking about its potential replacement.
After nearly a decade of fits and starts, the Navy has quietly initiated work to develop its first new carrier-based fighter in almost 20 years, standing up a new program office and holding early discussions with industry, USNI News has learned.
The multi-billion-dollar effort to replace the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and electronic attack EA-18G Growlers beginning in the 2030s is taking early steps to quickly develop a new manned fighter to extend the reach of the carrier air wing and bring new relevance to the Navy’s fleet of nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.
. . .
Despite the Navy sketching out a plan for its new fighter aircraft, Clark argued the service still needs to contend with an adversary’s ability to use lower-cost long-range missiles to target aircraft carriers.
“The idea of just continuing to build new manned aircraft with longer ranges to try to overcome the ability of a China or an Iran even or a Russia to shoot long-range missiles at the carrier, it’s sort of a losing game because the missiles are cheap,” he said. “The airplanes are expensive. So you’re in a bad cost exchange situation.”
Combining the manned fighter with unmanned systems could help the service confront this issue.
“That may be a way to get around this cost exchange problem, where maybe the airplane doesn’t need to fly as far,” Clark said.
“You know, the airplane could go a thousand miles, and it doesn’t matter if the enemy has a two-thousand-mile anti-ship ballistic missile because your manned airplane is not going to fly that whole distance. He’s going to stop at a thousand miles and then these unmanned systems go the rest of the way.”
There's more at the link.
I used to "indulge" in electronic warfare to some extent during my military service, not airborne like the Growlers, but ground- and ship-based. We used to listen in to enemy transmissions, translate their messages, triangulate their positions, and direct counter-attacks based on electronic intelligence. I used some of that background in my short story "Unintended Consequences", which appeared in the recent anthology "Trouble In The Wind".
I probably wouldn't understand a lot of the computerized equipment in use today, but I daresay it does much the same thing - just much faster and better than our old steam-driven, manually operated stuff.
I wonder what the Growler equivalents of the mid-20th century will look like? I won't be around to see them, of course, but the youngsters of today will.